Bryan Bresee is going to be one of the most fascinating prospects to track on draft day. He was very highly regarded after a break-out season as a true freshman. He was one of the best football players in the country back in 2020, but slipped off the national radar slightly after tearing his ACL in 2021. Since then he’s fought through several other injuries, and also had to deal with a tragic death in the family.
And while Bresee is still highly regarded by scouts, he doesn’t quite have the “blue chip” shine he did two years ago. He had an impressive performance at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, but was that enough to rehabilitate his draft stock?
The New York Giants have a low-key need at defensive line, as the team struggled when Leonard Williams or Dexter Lawrence were off the field. The big guys need rest and the Giants seem to have prioritized beefing up their defense. Could they add another Clemson Tiger to their line?
Prospect: Byran Bresee (11)
Games Watched: vs. Wake Forest (2022), vs. Florida State (2022), vs. Syracuse (2022), vs. North Carolina (2022 ACC Championship Game)
Red Flags: ACL (2021), shoulder (spring 2022), kidney infection (fall 2022)
Games Played: 25
Tackles for a loss: 15.0
Forced fumbles: 1
Passes defensed: 4
Games Played: 10
Tackles for a loss: 5.5
Forced fumbles: 0
Passes defensed: 2
Best: Athleticism, first step, play strength, competitive toughness
Worst: Agility, lower-body flexibility, injury history
Projection: A starting interior defensive lineman with positional and scheme versatility.
(Bresee is Clemson iDL number 11)
Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee has an excellent blend of size, athleticism, play strength, and competitive toughness to play the position at the NFL level.
Bresee is a very versatile defensive lineman who played all over the Clemson defensive line. He primarily aligned as a one-gap defensive tackle, though he played everything from the 7-technique defensive end to the 0-technique nose tackle. Bresee has a versatile build at 6-foot-5, 298 pounds as well as excellent athleticism and movement skills for an interior defensive lineman.
He typically times the snap very well and has an explosive get-off, as evidenced by his 1.65 10-yard split. Bresee is usually one of the first players moving on either side of the ball and is a handful for individual blockers to deal with. Not only does he gain good ground off of his first step, but he also has good lateral agility. He can be quick to alter his rush path, as well as execute gap exchange stunts. Bresee also combines very good play strength with a solid array of pass rush moves. He’s able to drive blockers back when bullrushing, but also has multiple options for counter moves. His go-to counter is a violent club-rip move, though he also uses long-arm and swim moves, as well as a very tight spin move. Bresee deals with blockers’ hands well and is typically able to defeat their blocks without losing much momentum.
Bresee has great competitive toughness and is willing to fight through waves of blockers. He also gives great effort in pursuit, which is further facilitated by his athleticism. Bresee is quick to retrace and get into pursuit and has good speed in the open field as well.
While Bresee is quick and has good lateral agility for a defensive tackle, he also shows some stiffness in his lower body. He doesn’t rush with great leverage and can lose his hip and pad level over the course of the rep. Likewise, doesn’t corner well in close quarters, allowing athletic quarterbacks or running backs to slip his tackles.
Bresee also lacks great arm length at 32 ½ inches. He has good overall length thanks to his height, but he can struggle some against long-levered blockers. They can win his chest plate if he isn’t able to defeat their blocks early in the rep, which can slow down his rush overall.
Bresee has an extensive injury history, highlighted by a torn ACL suffered in 2021. Teams will want to do their due diligence in assessing his overall health and long-term prognosis.
Overall Grade: 8.5
Bryan Bresee projects as a starting defensive lineman with alignment and scheme versatility at the NFL level.
Bresee played multiple roles in a very diverse Clemson defense, and he should be able to secure a starting job early in his career in any defensive scheme used in the NFL. Bresee has the athleticism to be a disruptive player on the interior, as well as the play strength to command blockers and control double teams.
He isn’t without his limitations as a defensive lineman despite his athleticism, and savvy blockers will give him trouble early in his career. Bresee will need to continue to hone his craft as a defensive lineman to compensate for his (relatively) short arms and lower-body stiffness.
Some teams will also be turned off by Bresee’s lack of tape and injury history. However, no team should doubt his competitive toughness after overcoming those injuries, as well as his own personal tragedy. Bresee may be a polarizing prospect in draft rooms, but he has the potential to be an impact defender early on in his career.